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Hershey's Hikes Chocolate Prices for First Time in 3 Years

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Kiss those lower prices goodbye. It's going to cost more to pop one of those foil-wrapped delights into your mouth after The Hershey Co boosted chocolate prices for the first time in three years. The No. 1 candy producer in the U.S., maker of Kisses, Reese's and other sweets, said the overall price increase would be 8 percent, effective immediately, amid a year-long jump in cocoa costs.

Customers who buy directly from the company will be able to buy at the pre-increase prices until Aug. 12. Hershey's price increase announcement will likely trigger a flurry of similar announcements from rivals such as Nestle SA and Kraft Foods Group Inc, anaylsts said. Price increases are often done quietly, they added. Hershey last raised wholesale prices in 2011 by roughly 9.7 percent in the United States, a company spokesman said. The cost of cocoa butter, a byproduct of the cocoa bean that gives chocolate its melt-in-the-mouth texture, has been high since late 2013.

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